Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
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Thursday, June 15 • 16:30 - 18:00
The Role of Practicioners - Elmien Truter, Sarah Maiter, and Sarah Robinson

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The Role of Practicioners

Abstract #140
Title: Moving from “they must” to “I can”: Considering child protection social worker’s risk and resilience in South Africa
Elmien Truter (North-West University, South Africa)
Co-Author: Ansie Fouché
Child protection social workers (CPSWs) are mandated  to protect vulnerable children.  There have been international calls for the prioritization of CPSW resilience.  Nonetheless, to date, only a small number of empirical research studies have explored resilience processes in CPSWs, and less have focused on South African CPSW risks and resilience.
Methods: In this paper, we present phenomenological accounts of the risks and resilience processes in the lives of 10 South African CPSWs, who participated on a self-referral basis. Data was collected by means of telephonic interviews, and analyzed by using thematic content analysis.
Findings: Findings reveal that these CPSWs experience risks such as deprived professional support and deficiency in resources (among others). Resilience processes include: practice- and purpose-informing creeds, helpful care systems, personal make-up, religion and positive environmental contexts.  

Abstract #306
Title: Helping as a pathway to resilience: lessons from a research project with immigrant parents experiencing child welfare interventions
Presenter: Sarah Maiter (School of Social Work, York University, Canada)
Introduction: Child welfare services often involve intervention in the lives of poor, marginalized and vulnerable families who are experiencing personal trauma and structural barriers in their day to day lives. With increasing globalization and displacement of people more and more immigrant families are coming to the attention of child welfare services.
Methods: A qualitative research method, with open- ended long interview questionnaires was used to explore the experiences of racialized immigrant families with the child welfare system and their daily lives and struggles.  Findings show settlement struggles that include: unemployment, underemployment, poverty, language struggles, credentials not being recognized, and racial and ethnic discrimination, in an increasingly neoliberal context that has resulted in precarious work and greater personal blame for problems that families confront.  Loss of personal resources within such an environment is heightened while child welfare workers find it difficult to recognize strengths and areas of resilience that can help families.
Findings: Although the intent of the study was to understand parents’ experiences with the child welfare system, inadvertent finding shows that these parents helped others in their neighbourhoods and communities that increased their sense of self and efficacy.  These findings are discussed as avenues for child welfare work with families.

Abstract #166
Title: Caught in dialogic crossfire: Resilience, recognition and remnants of the past
 Sarah Robinson (UCC, Ireland)
Post-independence Ireland had the second highest rate of institutionalization, per capita globally, in what is referred to Ireland's Architecture of Containment.  It continues to grapple with this legacy, in which those deemed socially undesirable were institutionalized. These included unmarried mothers, illegitimate children, ‘wayword’ women and the poor.
Methods:  While many in Ireland contend that this history is in the past, this research explores how the past is still alive in the present. It draws on interviews with practitioners in two psychological services in Ireland, as well as members of a survivor movement, to understand how a master narrative of institutional abuse continues to position and frame experience. Discourse analysis is applied to the data and found a discourse of victim and perpetrator, or a binary ‘us’ and ‘them,’ in which social healing is constrained.
Findings: The findings suggest that a lack of public dialogic spaces, means that ‘empathic repair’ is absent from Ireland’s response to its past. This in turn influences socio-cultural processes of resilience in the present, for both those directly impacted, and those caught in the dialogical crossfire. 

avatar for Sarah Maiter

Sarah Maiter

Professor, School of Social Work, York University
My research interests are: Race and Racism, Children and Youth, Child Welfare practice and policy for diverse communities , Minority youth and their development, anti-oppressive, anti racist practice; Mental Health practice and policy for diverse ethno-racial groups.

Sarah Robinson

School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork
Sarah Robinson is a first year PHD candidate in the University College Cork (UCC), Republic of Ireland. She is interesed in community and critical psychology, post-conflict and conflict transitions, life transitions and resilience, and humanitarianism. She is a graduate of the higher... Read More →

Elmien Truter

Elmien Truter, PhD, is a practicing child protection social worker and a social work lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, South Africa. Her research interests relate to exploring and enhancing the resilience of child protection social workers; investigating... Read More →

Thursday June 15, 2017 16:30 - 18:00 SAST
Room 04 Century City Conference Centre